Sunday, June 17, 2018

J/70 Europeans Update

J/70s sailing Europeans- Vigo, Spain(Vigo, Spain)- Sixty-nine teams from fifteen countries have been sailing the 2018 J/70 Class Open European Championship and 2018 J/70 Corinthian Class European Championship. Organized by the Real Club Náutico de Vigo in conjunction with the International J/70 Class Association, and J/70 Spanish Class Association.

Thirteen races were scheduled over five days, racing in the stunning Ria de Vigo on the Atlantic coast of Northwest Spain. The Real Club Náutico de Vigo has provided a warm welcome to competitors with social occasions throughout the regatta.  So far, the sailing has been stunning.  Here are the up-to-date race reports.

J/70s sailing off Vigo, Spain- EuropeansDay One- Tuesday- Sparkling Start in Vigo
The first day was blessed with sparkling conditions in Ria de Vigo. A brisk northerly breeze piped up to 18 knots with a meter sea state providing thrilling downwind conditions. Highly competitive starts, with solid traffic at mark roundings, made for high octane racing of the highest caliber. Three races were held for the 69-boat fleet, with three different winners. Krzysztof Krempec's EWA (POL), Alberto Rossi's ENFANT TERRIBLE (ITA), and Paolo Tomsic's SOCIETA NAUTICA GRIGNANO (ITA). Luis Bugallo's MARNATURA (ESP), representing the Real Club Náutico de Vigo, was the top Corinthian J/70.

Peter Duncan's RELATIVE OBSCURITY (USA) came back from a bad start in the last race to get up to fourth, which really made the difference, the reigning J/70 World Champion was a happy man after his first taste of action in Vigo.

“It was gorgeous sailing out there today, a beautiful body of water, very exciting with 69 boats on the start line. The race committee did a good job, which is not easy with that many boats. I have always thought that Europeans sail J/70s well, and they showed that today. It was really close, if you made a mistake, you paid for it,” said Peter Duncan.

Alberto Rossi's ENFANT TERRIBLE (ITA) scored a 3-1-11 to finish the day in second place. The former Farr 40 and TP52 World Champion was full of praise for the J/70 Class.

“It was tough racing today, the level continues to increase in the class, with the top 30 boats all capable of winning races. Even with a split start line, a lot of boats tend to go for the favored side, and if you don't get a good start and hold your lane, you can easily end up with a bad result. We did make a few mistakes, but we are happy with our results,” commented Alberto Rossi.

Krzysztof Krempec's EWA (POL) had a great day, winning the first race and scoring top ten results to finish Day One in third position. Krempec's team has only been racing in the class for the last 18 months.

“I am very pleased, we had three good races with excellent wind and it was really good fun. The level in the regatta is very high with a lot of boats together, which means it is not easy; you are constantly fighting with different boats. Our success today was not down to one thing, it was important to sail consistently, even though two of our starts were not good, we concentrated on our position and boat speed, and they were the keys to success,” observed Krzysztof Krempec.

The top Spanish team was Jose María Torcida's NOTICIA (ESP) scoring a 9-2-9 to place fourth after three races. Noticia was runner up for the 2017 European Championships.

“The conditions today have been great and it seems we are going to have more windy days during the week. Racing in a fleet of 69 boats is always tricky, especially at the starts, which will always be really tight. With a clear favourite side of the course, the starts were really complicated,” said Jose María Torcida.

After racing, over 300 competitors enjoyed local delicacies including traditional Galician tapas and refreshments at the Race Village. In the grounds of the Real Club de Vigo live music from Vigo cover band Penny Lane Syndrome created a perfect atmosphere.

J/70s sailing off Vigo, Spain- EuropeansDay Two- Wednesday- Full-On Conditions
Thrilling racing took place on the second day in the Ria de Vigo. The wind speed topped out at over 20 knots for much of the day, providing awesome downwind planing conditions for the fleet.  Three races were held, with a discard kicking in on the last race of the day.

Peter Duncan's RELATIVE OBSCURITY (USA) scored two bullets to lead the fleet after six races. Relative Obscurity's trimmer Willem van Waay commented, “Those are the days that keep you wanting to race these boats, it was gorgeous out there today.”   Audio Interview with Willem van Waay

Alberto Rossi's ENFANT TERRIBLE (ITA) put in another great performance winning Race 4 to keep the pressure on the leader, just two points behind. Paolo Tomsic's Società Nautica Grignano (ITA) had another great day scoring a 5-10-2, putting the Corinthian team from Lake Garda into third place overall and top of the Corinthian Division.

Paolo Tomsic was quick to give praise to his team for their impressive performance. “We are so very happy with this unexpected result, we are very honored to be in Vigo, this is a beautiful location where we feel very comfortable. We hope our performance will be consistent in the next few days. We are used to big winds, being based on Lake Garda , but there you never find waves as big as this! Our team is Giuliano Chiandrussi, Emanuele Noè; Francesca Pagan, and above all our owner, Mauro Brescacin,” said Paolo Tomsic

Umberto de Luca's ENJOY (ITA) is in fourth place after six races. The 26 year-old from Yachting Club Torri on Lake Garda started sailing in the class last year after competing in the Laser and Finn Classes.

“There was strong wind today and very choppy seas with some good waves so it was a lot of fun, especially downwind. The results are coming because we are getting everything together but the most important thing is that we are very fast, especially upwind, which has got us out of some tricky situations, and the tactician is making some really good calls. It is an honor to sail against these big guys in the sailing world, and exciting for us to do so well,” commented Umberto de Luca.

CALYPSO (MLT), co-skippered by Jonathan Calascione & Seb Ripard, started the day well with a second place but lost a batten in the pre-start for Race 5 forcing the team to retire. Calypso was back out for Race 6, scoring a 10th place, keeping the Maltese team in the top five.

Luis Bugallo's MARNATURA (ESP) had a great day, fully pulling the trigger downwind; scoring three top-ten results to finish the day in sixth place overall, and second place in the Corinthian Class.

“Yesterday we decided to be conservatives and not take too much risks. However, today we planned the opposite and it worked. We are happy with our day,” said Luis Bugallo's MARNATURA from Real Club Náutico de Vigo is the top performing Spanish boat after six races.

After racing, competitors enjoyed the facilities of the purpose built Regatta Village at the Real Club de Vigo with live music from Vigo's Diego Pacheco and Tonechi. An official dinner was held at the Noble Hall at the Real Club Náutico de Vigo, honored guests included representatives of each country present at the J/70 European Championships.

J/70s starting- sailing Europeans off Vigo, SpainDay Three- Thursday- Red Hot Sailing!
After two days of fast exhilarating sailing, the pace changed with lighter conditions in the Ria de Vigo, but the intensity of the brilliant sunshine and the competition was still red hot. After two General Recalls in Race 8, the Black Flag was hoisted and 13 teams were disqualified in the restart. Championship leader, Peter Duncan's RELATIVE OBSCURITY (USA) managed to stay out of trouble but only just. The J/70 World Champions scored a win in Race 8, but came 24th in Race 9, after getting caught in traffic upwind. Duncan's team still has a firm grip on the top of the leaderboard, but with four more races scheduled, there is plenty more action to come.

“I have known Willem (van Waay) for a long time, but getting into to high level racing as part of this team has been a lot of fun. It's super entertaining ashore and that holds true on the water. The program is very well run, but it is also very enjoyable, and I am ready to ride with this team as far as it goes” said Max Hutcheson, bowman on Duncan’s team.

26 year-old, Umberto Luca's ENJOY (ITA) is going from strength to strength, after breaking into the top three yesterday, the team from Lake Garda scored a 10-2-12 today to move up to second place. Alberto Rossi's ENFANT TERRIBLE (ITA) was black-flagged in Race 8, slipping to third overall just a point behind Enjoy.

Jose María Torcida's NOTICIA (ESP) had their best day of the regatta scoring 4-9-2 taking the team into fourth place and the best team from the host nation. All-in-all it was a good day for Spanish teams; Gustavo Doreste's FERMAX (ESP) won the last race of the day to move into the top ten. In the Corinthian Division, Luis Bugallo's MARNATURA (ESP) scored a 5-7-14 to take the lead by four points from Paolo Tomsic's SOCIETA NAUTICA GRIGNANO (ITA).

J/70 sailing Europeans- Vigo, Spain“We still have four races to go, we are happy and we aspire to really do well in all of them. Duncan had a bad result already today so he knows he must be conservative. The spirit of our team is really high and this regatta is like a marathon: It is about not having a bad result and today we have sailed well,” commented top Spanish sailor Jose María Torcida.

CALYPSO (MLT) co-skippered by Jonathan Calascione & Seb Ripard, started the day winning Race 7 but the Maltese team was black flagged in Race 8 and scored a 41st in the last race of the day.

“It was really great to win a race in this fleet, and prove that yesterday's second was no fluke. For Race 8, we were probably one second early, and when you hear your sail number called out, and you already have a DNF from the previous day, it would have been easy to let our heads drop. But, we came here to compete and improve and we will be racing as competitively as we can until the last race,” said skipper Seb Ripard.

Some of the world's most accomplished sailors are taking part in the J/70 European Championships. World Champions from every aspect of the sport, Olympic Medallist, America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race sailors. However, some are just at the beginning of the journey. Remi Piazza's MISTRAL (MON) is the youngest team at the championships, the four sailors are just 15-18 years of age, and proudly representing the Yacht Club de Monaco. The club started a youth sailing program in 1970, and today it has 350 members, from as young as six years old. 18 year-old Alba Malivindi is driving MISTRAL.

“This is our first international regatta as a team, and we have only been sailing together for less than a year. We are enjoying the event and it is a really good experience for us, because the level is really high,” commented Alba Malivindi.

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